GROWTH Commentaries Announcement: The Launch of GROWTH Commentaries


By Sandra Zelman Lewis, PhD, Chief Guidelines Officer, Doctor Evidence

Welcome to the inaugural publication of GROWTH Commentaries! This is a regular series of essays on important topics in evidence-based medicine (EBM).  It is my honor and pleasure to launch this series with some reflections on GROWTH and our plans for this series.

What is GROWTH? 
GROWTH (Guidelines & Research Organizations Worldwide for Transparency & Harmonization) is a suite of initiatives started by Doctor Evidence to help promote evidence-based medicine across the spectrum of healthcare with the goal of improving patient care and patient outcomes. Although the suite will be “growing” (pun intended!), there are currently 4 projects that have commenced. The website is a great resource for learning more about these programs and future updates so we recommend you bookmark the site.

GROWTH Evidence
  • A network of EBM organizations with shared access to digital assets and leading EBM methodological  tools and resources
  • Peer-to-peer members-only forum to share ideas, challenges, and methods
  •  Collaborations between member organizations are encouraged
  •  All GROWTH Evidence members have complete and unlimited access to all digitized studies in the Doctor Evidence database
  • Access to patient/consumer representatives

GROWTH Patients


  •  A network of patient-focused consumer-based organizations with an interest in participating in EBM activities
  • The network members will be encouraged to train in the principles of EBM through any of the EBM curricula offered to participate in research and guideline projects
  • Shared forum for contributing ideas
  • Linkages to EBM opportunities facilitated



  •  A worldwide interactive map of EBM organizations
  • Can be used to foster collaborations between organizations of interest
  •  User can search by clinical topic areas, geographic locations, and EBM activities
  • Collaborations between organizations are encouraged and contact information provided
  •  Each organization maintains it’s own profile

GROWTH Collaborative

  •  This is the only GROWTH initiative that spans all of healthcare, including research funding organizations
  • A consortium of primarily academic evidence centers compose the firewall between industry and EBM organizations
  •  Scientific Evaluation Reports contain information on the deconstructed and evaluated EBM products to identify areas of weak evidence or evidence gaps to promote future research that will strengthen the evidence base.
  •  Base studies will be digitized and available to the EBM organizations for guideline or systematic review updating.
  •  Promotes the sharing of de-identified selected information through the screen of the collaborative

We intend for the GROWTH initiatives to help further the labors of EBM organizations, support and promote increased methodological rigor, encourage collaborations and harmonization, and improve transparency. As a by-product of that effort, GROWTH Commentaries will promote the importance of EBM and the value of informed clinical decisions based on solid data and trusted methods.

Who is the Audience for GROWTH Commentaries? The audience is intended to be anyone engaged in EBM activities, clinical research, or recipients of healthcare, but it will be publicly available at so anyone with an Internet browser can access it.

The readership is not limited to members of any of the GROWTH initiatives or to users of the Doctor Evidence platforms. Patients, providers, researchers – everyone is invited to read, share, discuss, and comment on these essays. The GROWTH Commentaries are free and open access. Our ultimate goal is to promote evidence-based healthcare and we believe educating everybody, including the patients, will improve informed shared decision-making, patient care, and patient outcomes.

Value to Readers: GROWTH Commentaries provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and encourages continuous professional learning. How these essays will impact EBM and resulting care and outcomes will be influenced by the novelty, reliability, and effectiveness of the concepts and methods discussed and how feasibly they can be implemented in real world settings.

Who Can Author a Commentary? We request guest commentaries from both invited and volunteer authors. When an interesting development or new idea is presented, we will invite the key players to contribute an essay to our series. However, submissions from others are also welcome. The greater the breadth of scope across the topics in this series, the more likely they are to be published, as innovation and variability will be encouraged. Yet, interesting commentaries based on established topics will also be considered.

What Are the Rules? The editorial board consists of the members of the Doctor Evidence Guidelines Division and is charged with review and acceptance of submitted and invited essays. Commentaries must not be promotional for pharmaceutical companies or medical manufacturers. There is a word count limit of 1,000 words and we reserve the right to edit the content for grammar and clarity or work with the author(s) to optimize relevance and value for our readership. No submission is guaranteed publication but all will be considered in a reasonable timeframe.

Future Commentaries: Some ideas for future commentaries might include how technology can enhance evidence syntheses and analyses, how social media can impact EBM, simplifying methodological complexities in evidence analyses, and the value consumer representatives bring to guideline panels. We hope to have a diverse and expansive scope of topics. Look for new commentaries about 10 times per year. We hope you will enjoy these and we ask for your feedback so we can make this a useful, interesting, and enjoyable experience for all of our readers.